With the Ohio Star Ball just about to happen in Columbus, Ohio on November 17 – 22, 2015, reminding us that the most important ballroom and dancesport competitions are just around the corner, I thought I would inspire and motivate you to seek your highest level of achievement with a little background on who currently holds the World Ballroom Dance Champions title in 2015. And by the way, the Fordney Foundation will be a part of the Ohio Star Ball for the second year in a row. The Fordney Foundation represents Junior/Youth Dancesport that feature the World Pro Am Dancesport Series at the Ohio Star Ball.
The World (Ballroom) Championships in general have been around since 1909 and started in Paris. It is only since 1922 when the sport split into professional and amateur levels that complete records have been kept. It was also in 1922 when the first awards were given out for a single championship as opposed to titles for the individual dances. In 1936, these annual competitions became official. Since 1937, the winners of the competitions were always from the United Kingdom, they dominated in title for the entire century! When World War II happened, the championships were put on hold for six years. Upon its revival, the professional ballroom dancing world was
becoming more and more scattered as more competing organizations popped up and wanted recognition. In 1950, International Council of Ballroom Dancing (ICBD) was founded. ICBD became the world’s first international professional dance organization. And, all other competitions claiming to be the ‘World Championships’ were boycotted by member nations. In 1960, the ICBD officially awarded championships and have continued ever since. The ICBD was renamed as the World Dance & DanceSport Council (WD&DSC), and again renamed, as the WDC. Dances covered in these championships are: waltz, foxtrot, quickstep, tango and Viennese waltz; also known as the Professional Ballroom section. I shall also do a world championship blog on Latin dances at a later date.
That being said, let me now tell you who the actual current World Ballroom Dance Champions of the WDC are for 2015. The couple of this prestigious dance title is, Arūnas Bižokas and Katusha Demidova. Born in 1978 in Vilnius, Lithuania, Arūnas now represents the USA. Until 2007, he was competing with his then partner, Edita Daniūté for his country, Lithuania at world DanceSport Federation events. These events were recognized as competitive dancing by the International Olympic Committee. In 2005, the couple won the World Games. After 2007, Arūnas started to compete in alternative World Dance Council events for the United States. His current partner is Katusha Demidova. Together, they have won the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Professional World Ballroom Championship in Standard Ballroom. In 2013, Arūnas with his partner, were ranked number one in the World Dance Council World Ranking in the Professional Ballroom category.
Here is a list of some of his incredible Medal record wins where he won Gold, Silver and Bronze awards: Arūnas Bižokas
Katusha Demidova was born in Moscow, Russia. At the age of seven, her father took her to the local community center for ballroom dancing lessons, (I think it paid off). She is a Russian professional dancer and instructor. Katusha now lives in the United States. She is the 2009, 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014 and 2015 Professional World Ballroom Dance Champion along with her partner, Arūnas Bižokas. She is also a champion of the International Professional and British Open Ballroom competitions with Arūnas Bižokas, as well. Katusha is also the sister of Anna Demidova, who is also a dancer.
Katusha’s previous dance partner was Jonathan Wilkins, who came in second place in the 2009 World Event with Hazel Newberry. The Wilkins-Demidova partnership lasted from 1996 until 2007 ending in a first place finish in the USA Open Professional Standard. Katusha has not only won the US National Professional Championship with Wilkins, she also won it with Arūnas and holds the US National Professional Championship title continuously since 1998.
There you have it dancers, a couple bound for glory that just never lets up. This dance couple is flawless and magnificent. As you can see from these videos, this is how good you have to be to win top honors. And you have to be even greater to beat this dance couple from winning every year. Are you up for the challenge!?
Thought Of The Week:
“Perseverance is not a long race; it is many short races one after another.” – Walter Elliott